School board attorney proposes requirements during national anthem

A local school district is now looking at changing policies when it comes to the national anthem at sporting events.

Posted: Oct 6, 2017 4:02 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - A local school district is now looking at changing policies when it comes to the national anthem at sporting events.

Starkville High School volleyball players taking a knee during the national anthem has received praise from one side and outrage on the other.

“To me that’s totally wrong,” Army Veteran Dennis Jewell said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re at a football game, downtown at a concert or what, it’s not the time and 99 percent of the veterans will tell you it’s not the time.”

Jewell served in the Army from 1973 until 1989 and he’s a VFW commander in Columbus.

Many veterans across the U.S. have said they fought to give us the right to protest but Jewell sees it as disrespect.

“We did stand up so they can protest anytime they want to but on the same hand, they should show respect to those who gave that to them,” Jewell said.

This game was played at New Hope Monday night and now, Jeff Smith, attorney for the Lowndes County School District, has put together a resolution authorizing the district to adopt requirements for when the national anthem is played.

“Certain decorum will be expected,” Smith said. “It explains the decorum and that those who refuse to honor it might have to face some sort of repercussions.”

That could mean you’re thrown out of the event. Smith says the First Amendment doesn’t apply at these athletic events.

“At extracurricular activities, those are not rights,” Smith said. “You don’t have a right to play sports.”

The Mississippi High School Activities Association has a policy that the national anthem be played but that’s it. There is no requirement for standing or other conduct. Smith says they will probably discuss this at their next meeting toward the end of this month.

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